Spine 2024

Our flagship SPINE Festival is an annual pan-London spoken word and arts festival for children and families delivered in libraries across 16 boroughs. For 2024 we return with a lite edition from 21 March – 21 April 2024 exploring the theme of MAGIC & IMAGINATION.

Spin Anthology

SPINE Festival Lite will feature the launch of our SPIN! anthology edited by Joseph Coelho (SPINE 2023 Ambassador and Waterstones’ Children’s Laureate 22-24), creative writing workshops designed and delivered by our 16 Poets in Residence and fun activities by local artists.

Around the festival, we will be releasing Artist Spotlights of the Poets in Residence so you can get to know them better. Head over to the Spotlights page and follow along on our socials (@applesandsnakes) to keep in touch.


Participating boroughs this year include Brent and Harrow (North-West), Newham and Tower Hamlets (East), Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham (West), Southwark (South), Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich (South-East), Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth (South-West) and Islington, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster (Central). Click on the regions below to see what’s on offer:

Spine 2024 AiRs

Poets in Residence

Each borough has been paired with a poet in residence commissioned to deliver creative writing workshops around the theme of magic and imagination in local libraries and schools.

A warm welcome to this year’s poets in residence: Adam Kammerling, Alice Frecknall, Alim Kamara, Arji Manuelpillai, Desree, Ehireme Omoaka, Eileen Gbagbo, Güneş Güven, Jasmin Thien, Justin Coe, Laila Sumpton, Linden K McMahon, Miss Jacqui, Paul Lyalls, Rachel Lewis and Zohab Khan.

In addition to our Poets in Residence, there is a programme of events for families and children hosted by local artists in each borough. Check the public programme by clicking on the regions section above.

SPIN! 10 Exciting New Voices in Poetry Anthology

We are thrilled to be launching SPINE Festival Lite 2024 with the publication of SPIN! 10 Exciting New Voices in Poetry edited by Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Ruthine Burton. The anthology features fifty poems from ten debut poets, three new poems by Joseph Coelho and the three winning poems from SPINE Festival 2023’s Kindness Poetry competition

Themes range from video gaming to ice skating and football, hair, holidays, sisterhood, generational memories, friendship, the sense of self, personal experiences, music, and family life.

The poets are Anneliese Amoah, Antoinette Brooks, Sadatu Futa, Eileen Gbagbo, Shagufta K. Iqbal, Gayathiri Kamalakanthan, Rowan Kiffin Murray, Jay Sandhu, Ioney Smallhorne, and Jasmine Thien.

Suitable from ages 8+.

SPINE Archive

This isn’t the first year we have run SPINE but it is different every time we run it! Each year the content that has been made, and the people that we have worked with have been incredible. If you’re not sure what to expect from SPINE then do look through the archive to familiarise yourself.

We have collated this content in an archive for you to explore. This page contains some of the programming, the libraries that took art, artwork created and all the artists in residence that took part.

A huge part of this festival is all the libraries that take part. All the staff are incredibly important to making this festival come together and, of course, everyone who attends as a participant. You can read more in the impact of SPINE and all the wonderful things people have got up to in this blog post from Sarah Smith (MBE) at Brent Libraries.

Find out more about previous SPINE festivals by clicking the button below:

SPINE is produced by Apples and Snakes in partnership with Brent Library. In previous years, it has been supported by John Lyon’s Charity and  Arts Council England. We also would like to thank library authorities across London.

All photography credit of the artists in residence: Suzi Corker (suzicorker.com)

Brent Libraries
Arts Council England